Soccer team adapts to new coaching staff

Senior+Morgan+Bumby+passes+the+ball+to+a+teammate+against+Helias.+Photo+by+Patrick+Smith.

Senior Morgan Bumby passes the ball to a teammate against Helias. Photo by Patrick Smith.

Tyler Dunlap

Senior Morgan Bumby passes the ball to a teammate against Helias. Photo by Patrick Smith.
Senior Morgan Bumby passes the ball to a teammate against Helias Catholic. Photo by Patrick Smith.

When the weather gets warmer, spring athletes know it’s time to break out the workout clothes and cleats. Introducing a fresh coaching staff in Head Coach Jack Rubenstein, Frank Bowman as assistant coach and April Sulze as the new Junior Varsity coach for the girls soccer team, the Lady Bruins look forward to the challenges of a new competition season in addition to adapting to new coaches.

After participating in soccer as a RBHS student himself and standing on the sidelines in a different position for the past few years, Rubenstein is no stranger to the routine, he said, and plans to continue the winning tradition.

“I played Rock Bridge soccer for all four years that I went to Rock Bridge. I was the assistant coach for five years, and now I’m the head coach, so this organization is nothing new to me,” Rubenstein said. “At Rock Bridge, winning is so cultural, anything less is almost sub-par. I’m excited for the season. We’ve got a good team this year with a lot of potential.”

However, the new style of play and expectation that comes with a different head coach is not the only addition to the team this spring. With three freshmen and five sophomores joining the roster, the seasoned athletes have also had to welcome a fair amount of underclassmen onto the competitive squad. However, this can make communication and technique somewhat of a challenge on the field, senior Caiti Tabaka said.

“There’s a lot of new girls this year,” Tabaka said. “There is a lot of underclassmen coming in this year so [we] have to get used to playing with each other.”

Despite a big difference in personnel from last season, many of the upperclassmen who have some experience playing the sport have high hopes for this season aside from some minor changes that have taken place.

“I think we look pretty good this year,” junior Madison Boyken said. “Once we get our team chemistry down and get some experience with all of us playing together in game scenarios, I think we have the potential to be a really good team.”

Aside from many new players on the team who are new to competition and team versus individual play, the girls have had to adapt and continue to embrace the positives and things they can learn from the new coaches and Rubenstein in particular, Tabaka said.

“Our new coach is bringing a lot of new stuff to the table, such as new formations and style of playing, but we’re all adjusting to the new atmosphere,” she said. “He’s a pretty laid-back coach from what I’ve seen so far, so I think it’ll be easy for all of us to get along with him and have a fun year.”

Winning their first game of the season pushed them towards reaching their current 3-5 record. The Bruins continue to work with their new coaches and grow closer as a team. Setting aside the technicalities and physicality of the sport, Boyken recognizes the more personal side of the team and looks forward to the following season and sharing the experiences that only grow sweeter with time, she said.

“I just love playing with all the girls and getting to be with them everyday after school,” Boyken said. “It’s just a good feeling to be a part of a team, especially one where we’re all so close.”

By Tyler Dunlap